OH: Medical Marijuana Law Topic For Jackson Rotary

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Tom Scheffer served as the program host for the Aug. 2 Jackson Rotary meeting. Mr. Scheffer invited Catherine “Betsy” Glass to be the speaker for the meeting. Catherine Glass is a Prevention Specialist with Health Recovery Services in their Jackson office. She is also member of the Wellston Rotary Club and a regular visitor to the Jackson Rotary Club. She learned about Rotary at an early age since she is a third generation Wellston Rotarian. Catherine updated the Rotary members on Ohio’s new Medical Marijuana Law and what should be expected in the coming months.

Ohio became the 25th state to adopt some form of legalized marijuana when Governor John Kasich signed Ohio Medical Marijuana law, House bill No. 523 on June 8th. The effective date for the bill is September 8th. However, at this time questions regarding how the bill will be implemented seem to out-number answers. Medical marijuana should be available no later than September of 2018. Rules remain to be drafted, licenses for growers and dispensers must be approved and regulatory staff must be hired and trained before any medical treatment may be started.

Under Ohio’s medical marijuana law only medical use will be allowed and medical marijuana will be highly regulated from seed to sale. Regulations for growing, processing, testing and distributing medical marijuana will developed in the coming year. In Ohio medical marijuana can be only be used to treat 20 specified diseases or medical conditions such as AIDS/HIV, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, Hepatitis C, multiple scleroses, Parkinson’s disease, sickle cell anemia and fibromyalgia.

In Ohio medical marijuana may be dispense as edibles, patches, oils, tinctures and plant materials. Smoking will not be permitted. However, vaporizing marijuana or vaping will be allowed for medical purposes. Home grown and recreational usage will be prohibited in Ohio.

Patients must have a long term relationship with the prescribing physician and both the patient and their caregivers must register with the state. The Department of Commerce will develop rules for growers, processors and testing labs. The Board of Pharmacy will develop rules, fees and applications for dispensers and determine the number of dispensaries in the state. The State Medical board will certify physicians that will be authorized to recommend medical marijuana for their patients.

Catherine Glass answered a number of questions regarding the development of the medical marijuana program. She noted state medical marijuana laws like Ohio’s remain in conflict with federal regulations and that adjustments will be required in workplace regulations to address the approved use of medical marijuana. An employee may not be discharged is they are following an approved treatment plan. However, an employee may be terminated if the use of medical marijuana has a negative impact on their job performance.

In other business Rotarian Kathi Wilson, on behalf of the Jackson County Fair Board, presented a $500.00 check to President Carol Porter and Past President Sandra Borden for staffing the county fair entrances on July 19th. The fair board offered a number of community organizations an opportunity to staff the fair gates in order to raise funds for their projects. Sandy Borden headed up the Jackson Rotary’s day staffing the fair gates.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Medical Marijuana Law Topic For Jackson Rotary
Author: Staff
Contact: (740) 286-2188
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Website: The Jackson County Times-Journal